~ Rare 17th Century Wheel-lock Rifled Musket ~
This is a rare, very well preserved, wheel-lock musket of German origin.
Its design resembles the mid 17th century German/Austrian pieces but the inlays of the barrel appear to be of Spanish. It may well be a German manufactured piece for a Spanish customer.
This wheel-lock has been designed to be operated with the right hand. This is clearly visible due the way in which the wooden stock is carved and to the positioning of its firing mechanism.
The musket’s trigger guard and all the stock decorations are made of brass.
The lockplate and the entire firing mechanism are made of steel.
The blued hexagonal barrel is also decorated with brass inlays and is monogrammed ‘AM’.
Its middle section, just after the rear sight is inlaid ‘-G-2-‘ and with two other unknown characters.
The wooden carved butt is fitted with a trapdoor on the right side meant to fit the large winding key.
Inside the ‘pocket’ there is a small key that we presume was used as a screwdriver.
There is a horn fitting under the muzzle along with the bone tipped ramrod
~ The Wheel-lock ~
A wheellock, wheel-lock or wheel lock, is a friction-wheel mechanism to cause a spark for firing a firearm. It was the next major development in firearms technology after the matchlock and the first self igniting firearm. Its name is from its rotating steel wheel to provide ignition. Developed around 1500, it was used alongside the matchlock and was later superseded by the snaplock (1540s), the snaphance (1560s) and the flintlock (c. 1600).
~ Dimensions ~
The barrel length is 31 inches (78.8 cm) and the overall length of the piece is 44 inches (112 cm).
It weighs 5.6 kg.
~ Condition ~
The musket has been fully restored at one point in time. The metalwork has been cleaned and reblued to prevent rusting and pitting.
The wooden stock has aged but remains in excellent condition free of any serious damage, with only two minor surface cracks on the right side of the barrel frame.
~ Postage ~
The musket can be collected from our shop in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard but we can also arrange for it to be posted.